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Publication Detail

Title: Associations between traffic-related black carbon exposure and attention in a prospective birth cohort of urban children.

Authors: Chiu, Yueh-Hsiu Mathilda; Bellinger, David C; Coull, Brent A; Anderson, Shawn; Barber, Rachel; Wright, Robert O; Wright, Rosalind J

Published In Environ Health Perspect, (2013 Jul)

Abstract: Ambient air pollution may have neurotoxic effects in children. Data examining associations between traffic-related air pollution and attention domains remain sparse.We examined associations between black carbon (BC), a marker of traffic particles, and attention measures ascertained at 7-14 years of age among 174 children in a birth cohort based in the Boston, Massachusetts, area.We estimated BC levels using a validated spatial-temporal land-use regression model based on residence during children's lifetime. Children completed the Conner's Continuous Performance Test (CPT) measuring omission errors, commission errors, and hit reaction time (HRT), with higher scores indicating increased errors or slower reaction time. Multivariable-adjusted linear regression analyses were used to examine associations between BC and each attention outcome.Children were primarily Hispanic (56%) and Caucasian (41%); 53% were boys. We found a positive association between higher BC levels with increased commission errors and slower HRT, adjusting for child IQ, age, sex, blood lead level, maternal education, pre- and postnatal tobacco smoke exposure, and community-level social stress. Notably, the association was weaker, though still positive, for the highest BC quartile relative to the middle two quartiles. Sex-stratified analysis demonstrated statistically significant associations between BC and both commission errors and HRT in boys, but BC was not significantly associated with any of the CPT outcomes in girls.In this population of urban children, we found associations between BC exposure and higher commission errors and slower reaction time. These associations were overall more apparent in boys than girls.

PubMed ID: 23665743 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adolescent; Air Pollutants/analysis; Air Pollutants/toxicity*; Attention/drug effects*; Boston; Child; Cohort Studies; Environmental Exposure*; Environmental Monitoring; Female; Humans; Male; Models, Theoretical; Prospective Studies; Reaction Time/drug effects*; Seasons; Sex Factors; Socioeconomic Factors; Soot/analysis; Soot/toxicity*; Vehicle Emissions/analysis; Vehicle Emissions/toxicity*

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